It might not be the most glamorous job on the field, but Marwin Evans knows his role.
As a special teams player starting on three of the four phases, Evans is making an impact for the Green Bay Packers. If he wasn’t, the undrafted free agent rookie out of Utah State might not be playing for the team he grew up cheering for.
“I’m just trying to help out whenever I can,” Evans said. “I’m trying to do my part to help this team get a victory.”
The 2011 Oak Creek High School graduate is off to a strong start in his first NFL season. He has tallied four tackles on special teams and has been a valuable, versatile player.
“Money’s always making plays,” said Packers free safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix about Evans, whose nickname is Money. “His energy is always at 100, and we need that on this defense and on the special teams.”
Evans, who played some special teams in his two seasons at Utah State, considers kickoff coverage the area where he excels most on special teams.
“It’s pretty much where I made my name at,” said Evans, who was named first-team Southeast Conference his senior year at Oak Creek. “Kickoff is probably the best one out of all of them and probably the most fun one.”
Evans has yet to appear in a regular-season game on defense. He is listed on the depth chart as the third-string strong safety behind Morgan Burnett and Micah Hyde.
Members of the Packers secondary have taken notice of Evans’ skills and the progress he has made since signing with the Packers on May 10.
“He’s been growing as a player every week,” Clinton-Dix said. “He’s always working to get better, and I like that.”
“He’s a student of the game,” said fellow undrafted rookie cornerback Makinton Dorleant. “They correct him in meetings, and he does his job. He’s always on kickoffs making plays. He’s always on punts making plays. He’s grown to adapt and adjust to positive criticism. He’s becoming a great player.”
Transitioning from college football to the NFL is rarely easy for players. Playing at Utah State, Evans faced strong competition, but he certainly didn’t take on Power 5 conference teams week in and week out. It’s the mental aspect of the game that’s been the most difficult for Evans.
“Learning the playbook, learning the checks and why we do things was the biggest transition,” Evans said.
Evans has taken advantage of playing behind veteran safeties Clinton-Dix, Burnett and Hyde and constantly asks his teammates questions or receives tips about certain things.
“When you’re behind those guys, you ask questions, you learn, you mentally learn,” said Josh Hawkins, another Packers undrafted rookie cornerback.
Evans, 23, has learned a lot this season about himself as a player and as a person.
“You just learn about adversity,” Evans said. “When things are not going your way, just keeping grinding. Just keep pushing it through.”
In order for Evans to get a shot at cracking the defensive lineup, he needs to keep improving every day and continue to produce on special teams.
“You’ve got your role, and you do it to the best of your ability,” Dorleant said. “The NFL is all about opportunities, so I’m sure whenever his opportunity will arise, he’ll shine. He’s been shining on special teams, and he does a great job at practice.”
“Just be ready when his number’s called,” Clinton-Dix said. “You never know when we’re going to need him. But I think he’s ready at any time, and I think he’ll be ready when his name’s called.”